dump the bags
A hearty +1 to Dale Dougherty's post Bag the Schwag. In Austin this week all I wanted from the bag was the tiny conference guide that I could fold up and stick in my pocket or inside my badge; the rest of it was just wasted promotional material. And when I told the bag people this, they were literally shocked. "You mean you don't want all these magazines? Look at all these great magazines!" And then after I convinced them that No, I didn't want the magazines, they told me I had to take at least the full-size program (along with the micro-sized one) because, and I kid you not, "people sell them for thirty bucks on eBay." The program went back in the bag.
Other highlights of Austin: Henry Jenkins; catching up with "easterners" Bryan Boyer, Molly Steenson and the Hesketh crew; our panel on After Bust 2.0 ("How many of you are here because you're afraid of losing your jobs?"); general twitter mania; having the mobile web panel I was on scheduled opposite of Will Wright's Spore demo (gah!); contributing to continuous partial attention by phoning Jason Shellen while Heather Gold was interviewing him about the same; meeting a bunch of great MT, TypePad, Vox and LJ bloggers; and the lightning show on Sunday night. Wow...a real thunderstorm! We don't get those out here very often.
And In case you're curious, as of this afternoon there are exactly zero conference programs for sale on eBay.